What is on-page SEO?

On-page SEO is the art of creating informative content that search engines trust.


Last Updated: January 31, 2024

 by Lari Numminen.


Have you ever wondered why some niche websites seem to effortlessly climb to the top of search engine results? The secret lies often lies in on-page SEO, a critical factor in making your website stand out in the crowded digital landscape. In this comprehensive summary, we'll explore what on-page SEO is and how you can effectively use it to enhance your website's visibility and ranking.

What exactly is on-page SEO

On-Page SEO involves optimizing various elements on your website to make it more attractive to search engines. This optimization goes beyond just the content; it includes the underlying HTML source code, the structural elements, and the user experience.

On-page SEO is about ensuring your website communicates effectively with search engines and provides value to your visitors.

Key Components of on-page SEO:

  • Content quality - your content should be original, relevant, and provide value to your audience.
  • HTML tags - How your website is coded (typically in HTML-language), using  title tags, meta descriptions, and header tags.
  • URL structure: How your website structure is managed (typically in a sitemap). URLs should be clean, organized, and include relevant keywords.
  • Internal linking - How your different pages link to each other. Effective navigation and linking structures enhance user experience and SEO.

Tips on high-quality content

Trustworthy, informative and unique content is, without a doubt, the key in to on-page SEO. It's not just about filling your pages with words; it's about creating content that resonates with your audience and provides real value.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when creating high-quality content:

  • Focus on originality: Avoid copying content from other sites. Unique content is more likely to rank higher.
  • Understand your audience: Create content that addresses the needs and interests of your target audience.
  • Use keywords smartly: Keywords should be integrated naturally into your content, avoiding overstuffing.
  • Answer search intent. Look at search results and try to understand what people are trying to find for a specific term. High quality doesn't have to be long, it needs to be informative.

Tips on creating HTML tags

Before people find your website, they typically see a short description of your webpage content in search results. This is referred to the title tag and meta description.

Your website's title tags and meta descriptions are the first things a user sees in search results. They're your opportunity to make a great first impression.

  • Be clear and concise: Keep your titles under 60 characters and meta descriptions around 155 characters to ensure they display properly in search results.
  • Include relevant keywords: Use relevant keywords in a natural way to help your page rank for those terms.
  • Be descriptive: Accurately describe the content of the page to entice users to click through.

Optimizing images and multimedia

Images and multimedia elements are not only crucial for enhancing user engagement but also play a significant role in SEO.

For new websites, well used images and infographcis are often the first thing that start to drive search engine visibility.

Keep in mind these best practices:

  • Use Alt text: Alt texts give search engines an idea of what is in your image content. Use them to describe your images with relevant keywords.
  • Optimize file sizes: Large files slow down your page load times, negatively impacting SEO. Ensure images are less than 150kb in size.
  • Use descriptive file names: Include keywords in your image file names where appropriate.

URL structure and site navigation

How you organize information on your website gives a clear view for both search engines and website visitors where the most valuable content on your website can be found. This structure is often managed as a sitemap and maintained using tools such as the Google Search Console.

A well-structured URL and intuitive site navigation are like a roadmap for both your users and search engines. They help in efficiently guiding visitors to the information they seek.

Here are some best practices for URL structure and internal linking:

  • Keep URLs short and descriptive: Avoid long and complex URLs.
  • Use Breadcrumbs: They aid in navigation and help users understand their location on your site.
  • Don't use too many subdomains and folders. Organizing your website in complex ways can give mixed signals about where your most valuable content lies.
  • Organize content clearly: A logical hierarchy in your site structure helps search engines understand your site better.

Mobile optimization and page speed 

With the increasing prevalence of mobile internet usage, having a mobile-optimized website is important. Page speed is another critical factor, as slow-loading sites can lead to higher bounce rates and lower rankings.

Keep these factors in mind when optimizing for mobile and page speed:
  • Use responsive design - Ensure your site is accessible and looks good on all devices.
  • Compress Images - reducing image file sizes can significantly improve loading times
  • Leverage browser caching - This can help pages load faster for returning visitors.
  • Avoid unnecessary tracking codes and javascript - while web analytics codes and other javascript elements are often important, they can slow down your website. Only use what you need.

Structured data and schema markup

In addition to the visual elements of your website you can give search engines more detailed descriptions of your website using structured data and schema.

Structured data and schema markup can significantly enhance how your website's content is understood and displayed by search engines.

Keep this in mind when using structured data:
  • Follow Schema.org guidelines - use the recommended formats for marking up your content.
  • Markup different content types - Apply schema to articles, products, reviews, etc., for better representation in search results.
  • Test Your Markup - Use tools like Google's Structured Data Testing Tool to ensure your markup is correctly implemented.


On-Page SEO is not just a one-off task; it's an ongoing process that requires regular attention and updates. By focusing on optimizing your content, images, URLs, mobile experience, page speed, and structured data, you're not just enhancing your site's compatibility with search engines; you're also improving the overall user experience. This can lead to better engagement, higher rankings, and ultimately, more success for your website.


  1. What's the difference between on-page and off-page SEO?

    On-Page SEO involves optimizing elements within your site, while off-page SEO relates to external factors like backlinks and social signals.

  2. How often should I update my on-page SEO elements?

    Regular updates, ideally every few months, help keep your content fresh and in line with evolving search engine algorithms.

  3. Can on-page SEO improve my site's conversion rates?

    Yes, by enhancing the user experience and making your site more accessible and engaging, on-page SEO can lead to higher conversion rates.

  4. Is On-page SEO relevant for all types of websites?

    Absolutely. Regardless of the type of website, effective on-page SEO is essential for visibility and success.

  5. How do I measure the effectiveness of my on-page SEO strategies?

    Tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console can help track improvements in traffic, user engagement, and search engine rankings, giving you insights into the effectiveness of your SEO efforts.
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